All new buildings must have thermal insulation

All new buildings must have thermal insulation
Updated 24 March 2014

All new buildings must have thermal insulation

All new buildings must have thermal insulation

As part of energy conservation measures, the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Development Affairs has announced that installation of thermal insulation systems was mandatory for all new constructions that are coming up in the Kingdom.
Thermal insulation would be a pre-requisite while applying for electricity connection, Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs Prince Mansour bin Miteb bin Abdulaziz said.
The minister instructed all municipalities in the Kingdom that installation of thermal insulation was mandatory for all buildings irrespective of whether they were residential, commercial or any other facility like government projects in major cities of the Kingdom.
Thermal insulation will be mandatory in 23 cities and towns across the Kingdom.
Municipalities and engineering consultants will coordinate with Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) to implement the policy. If any building fails to install insulation, it won’t be able to subscribe for power supply and the municipality will also not approve permanent permission.
An exclusive integrated system will be developed between municipalities and SEC to verify the installation, the ministry said.
Thermal insulation is a technology used to protect the buildings from excessive heat during peak summer time. It reduces the pace of heat transfer inside the building through the walls and roof and as a result, saves about 40 percent of energy in air-conditioning.
Air-conditioning will still be required, but the tenant will save a lot in terms of utility bills.
Experts and environmental activists hailed Prince Mansour’s determination to implement the thermal insulation policy.
Application of thermal insulation has been in existence for the past three years, but building owners merely made promises to municipalities while obtaining permission for house without actually implementing it.
The decision will increase construction cost marginally but will reduce power consumption.
Prominent Saudi engineering expert Saudi Green Building Organization senior executive Dr. Mohammed Alhaj Hussein told Arab News: “The move is more than welcome, and is part of green building strategy.
Similar system is being adopted in Dubai and Doha for the past 10 years. In Saudi Arabia, authorities were working on it but failed to implement it effectively.”
“With the ministry making it mandatory, one will have to adhere and that will bring down energy consumption,” he said, adding that in Dubai, there are 85 applications that are approved as part of green building system while in Saudi, we have only two systems and thermal insulation is one of them.
Senior engineer Syed Nooruddin, working in air-conditioning giant Johnson and Johnson, explained: “Thermal insulation installation is carried during the construction of columns, walls and roof. The purpose of thermal insulation in buildings is to maintain a comfortable and hygienic indoor climate at low ambient temperatures. The main aim of thermal insulation in summer is energy conservation leading to a decrease in cooling demand and hence the protection of the environment.”
Air-conditioners account for about 70 percent of electricity consumption in Saudi Arabia, and with more than 1.5 million new homes needed to keep pace with population growth, domestic energy demand is anticipated to double by 2030, according to Saudi Electricity Company.